LOS ANGELES — WKU Hilltopper Basketball notched its first Pac-12 road victory in
program history Monday night, advancing through the second round of the NIT with a
79-75 win at top-seeded USC.
The Hilltoppers (26-10) came back in the final four minutes, surging past the
Trojans (24-12) to win multiple games in the NIT for the first time since 1948.
WKU advances to face second-seeded Oklahoma State on the road at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday
in the quarterfinals on ESPN2.
Senior forward Justin Johnson led WKU with 23 points and six rebounds – passing Clem
Haskins for 11th on the program’s all-time scoring list – while senior forward
Dwight Coleby added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Coleby came up big with seven points in the fourth quarter, including two putbacks
and the final emphatic dunk.
Redshirt junior guard Lamonte Bearden chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds, three
steals and three assists, and freshman guard Josh Anderson scored 10 points.
Freshman guard Jake Ohmer added eight points off the bench.
WKU used a 9-0 run late in the second quarter to pull in front and led 40-39 at the
The Hilltoppers stretched their lead to 57-50 with 1:43 to play in the third
quarter, but a 14-2 USC run later made it 67-61 Trojans with 5:51 remaining in the
WKU punched back with seven straight points, including Coleby’s two putbacks, and
the Hilltoppers went in front for good with 2:58 left on an alley-oop by Johnson.
The Hilltoppers made 16 of 17 free throws, while USC made 8 of 19. WKU scored 52
points in the paint and outrebounded the Trojans 32-27.
WKU’s 26 wins are its most since the 2007-08 Sweet 16 season.